The latest NVIDIA SHIELD update is proving problematic for a number of owners of the Android TV device with some experiencing regular and routine crashes and in a few cases, non-responsive devices. This is not an issue that is widespread enough to be a concern to all SHIELD TV owners, although there does seem to be enough user reports on various forums, including the company's own GeForce forums to indicate the issue is more than just one or two isolated incidents.
NVIDIA announced the update as "SHIELD Experience Upgrade 7.2" in early December and this was followed by a more minor update (SHIELD Experience Upgrade 7.2.1) a few days later. The latter was designed to address some of the initial issues that had surfaced with the original 7.2 update. However, it seems both versions of the update are resulting in a number of performance-related issues.
Crashes, reboots, and non-responsive units
One of the most common issues noted is the system experiencing crashes when in use. This varies by user but seems to be more common when video-based services are running, including Netflix, Prime Video and even YouTube. In some instances, the system just hangs for a few seconds while in other cases the apps crash forcing the user to restart them. Some of those experiencing the crashing/freezing issues are also noting that at times the system reboots itself and in some cases, these self-initiated reboots are occurring multiple times a day. Other users have found that a number of apps are also being disabled after the update although compared to some of the other issues this one is easier to fix as it simply requires the user to once again re-enable the app(s) through the Google Play Store.
In other cases, device owners are not even getting as far as opening an app as they seem to be experiencing more fundamental install issues. These have manifested in issues where the system tries to install the update but hangs on the loading screen. Sometimes the issue is fixed by simply restarting the system and applying the update again – although doing this while the system is in the middle of updating is not something that's recommended as it can cause issues in itself if the system was simply taking longer than expected to apply the update. Other users have reported varying degrees of success based on disconnecting connected devices during the installation process, including connected USB flash drives, Bluetooth accessories, and in some cases even the official controllers.
In the more extreme cases users are finding the system becoming completely unresponsive. At present it remains unclear whether these units are being soft or hard "bricked," although users have reported symptoms that suggest both bricking states have being encountered. it is currently unclear what is causing this more serious issue or how/if it can be fixed. It soft bricking is what is happening, then it is likely users will be able to recover the system by booting into safe mode or in worst case scenarios using ADB to manually flash the update to the SHIELD TV.
Other issues as well
As is the case with most updates, there are multiple reports of other issues that have surfaced albeit these do seem to be less frequent than the crashing issues noted. The most common of these include a non-responsive remote issue. This is described as either the remote not working at all following the update, or suffering from a delay that means the remote does not become responsive (wake) when the system first powers up, but does so after a few minutes. According to comments on the GeForce forums, the latter is now a known issue and will be fixed in the next update.
In spite of the 7.2.1 update being designed to deal with some of the issues that surfaced from the 7.2 update, the 7.2.1 changelog does also come with a wide variety of known issues itself. As a result some of these more minor issues are to be expected and as these are known issues, like the remote bug, NVIDIA is aware of them and is currently in the process of working on fixes for them. As of now, it remains unclear how aware NVIDIA is of the crashing and non-responsive issues and whether there are any fixes planned.
SHIELD Experience 7.2.2 coming soon
Generally speaking, NVIDIA is extremely active when it comes to user feedback and has become known for providing a heightened level of support to both SHIELD TV generation devices. What's more, it does already seem the company is testing the SHIELD Experience 7.2.2 update and it would seem likely this update will be made more widely available soon considering it's been in testing since December 22. In the meantime, if you are experiencing any of these issues, and in particular a totally non-responsive device then it's at least worth knowing you are not alone.